Tuesday, February 26, 2008

IF CHRIST HAD NOT RISEN....WHAT WOULD CHRISTIANITY BE?

If Christ had not risen from the dead, what would the disciples have developed as Christianity? A religion about love and forgiveness, perhaps, but not about resurrection and a sure promise of Eternal life from a Resurrected human. I don't think the disciples would have been brave enough to start any religion.

But in fact, 20 centuries ago, they saw the risen Jesus Christ --and there was no stopping the news --and the boldness of their claim. They knew what they had seen --and believed their eyes. If Jesus rose from the dead, then everything He said --and everything the first century followers wrote --is worthy of our study. And I have no compelling reason to disbelieve their testimonies.








"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible

21 comments:

Jeanette said...

There would be no Christianity, but praise God He did arise!

Barb, I spoke to an atheist last night (I think you know who). I said I wanted to have a philosophical conversation without a fight.

I then confirmed he is atheist, thinks when he dies he will just get a dirt nap and no more, then confirmed he did not believe in heaven or hell. He said he did not.

I then asked why, then, would he make comments about a person wanting to send him to hell if he didn't believe in hell.

The answer was that the person was telling him he was a bad boy and he didn't like to hear it and we could stick our hell you know where.

So why are atheists insulted if you tell them the choices they have made sentence them to hell since they don't believe there is anything beyond the grave?

Barb said...

I understand that they are insulted, Jeanette, in that we are saying they are sinful and going to Hell (simply by their unbelief) --but I agree that they do get overly outraged when we just tell them the POSITIVES about the Gospel! It doesn't make sense, does it?

As the Bible says, the cross is an offense to the unbeliever --the story that man is a sinner who needs a Savior --offends them. And why should it have the power to offend if it is just a fairy tale?

Christian Apologist said...

You are both coming at the subject from the wrong direction. For an athiest intellect and reason are the basis of any "philosophic conversation". When a christian attempts to convince an athiest using faith and compassion or even fear of hell all you will do is annoy them. If you want to convince an athiest of the truth of the cross you must use apologetics. refer them to some of the works of authors like C.S. Lewis, and Lee Strobel. Read them yourselves and be prepared to debate the points raised in a rational way. Do this and you stand a good chance of helping the Holy Spirit to bring a lost soul to the bosom of Christ.

steve said...

"So why are atheists insulted if you tell them the choices they have made sentence them to hell?"

I don't think it's so much the message, but the messenger.

Because it's sort of arogant to assume this position of superiority. You are essentially telling someone in a very public way - "I am better than you because I believe such and such". What would you think if an Islamic believer came up to you and said "You are going to hell infedel! unless you proclaim Allah is God, and Mohamed is his prophet"? You'd have a fit and tell the guy to "shove it you know where". You would be highly offended.

I know that the Bible says to go out into the world and evangelize. But I think it could be done in maybe a subtler fashion. And why do you have to continue to hammer people about it? Can't you make your point and let them digest it and think about it instead of constantly badgering? Isn't it true that YOU have no power to save anybody, but it's the Holy Spirit?

Barb said...

CA --I certainly know the apologetics way of witness -- and am very familiar with the authors you suggest. And have referred people to them --and to the Lee strobel videos. and to Chuck Colson's Born Again.

I often try to inspire pondering about the marvels of our brains, eyes, procreative design, the beauty of earth --etc etc --as evidence of loving design behind our existance.

And as in this blog topic, to give reasons for why I think the Christian story has credibility.

But my blogging isn't just about evangelism --but about engaging in the marketplace of ideas. right now, Christians are seen as mere bigots for their stand on homosexuality and abortion--we lack compassion --we are all greedy capitalists --who defend corporations and the GOP no matter what they do or who they are. We all want to round up illegals from Mexico like Hitler rounded up the Jews. In short, in the liberal blogs, we are EVIL personified.

I engage in discussions to refute these common liberal misconceptions because the TRUTH is of utmost importance. If people only listen to one side, they don't know any other. and then you best not be surprised if the next generation thinks it's fair game to treat us like criminals --and puts us in jail for speaking out against homosexual activity (the current civil right violated by illegal, alleged "hate speech.")

My method isn't usually to tell people they are going to Hell--and that's not Jeanette's either --though the conversation goes there sometimes when all else has been expressed --we Christians have a fear of Hell for those we love. And that's where Jeanette is when she gets down to the issue of destination after we die.

If all else fails, people at least need to know that Jesus Christ confirmed the existance of everlasting torment in Hell --and because He did, that's why I believe in it. I'd rather not.

I think Jeanette's question is valid --she wonders why someone is insulted to be told that Hell is their destination if they don't believe in it --but it's because we are telling them they are sinners when we give the plan of salvation that says ALL have sinned. But I also think, that down deep, they are fearful that the Bible just might be true --about Hell.

If a Muslim would tell me that, I wouldn't be insulted. I'd know where he is coming from if he says he believes in Hell and that I am going there; he thinks non-Muslims are headed there and the radical ones believe it doesn't matter if they hasten our journey!

Neither Jeanette or I would say we start a witness with the Biblical truths when talking with an atheist --at the same time --the Holy Spirit's best medium is The Word of God --so that's why I DO include scripture when I witness --because blog audiences are at different stages of unbelief. Some agnostics believe Jesus was great -so they ought to know what He said concerning today's issues. Others don't believe in God at all nor do they have respect for Jesus as a real person in history.
C.S. Lewis and Lee Strobel do start with various reasons to believe in God. Then the question is, how can we know Jesus was from God? WAS God in the flesh?

There is nothing wrong with proclaiming the Gospel, period. There is good news --Jesus Christ came --sent by God --and He died to give us eternal life because we are sinners who will not attain Heaven without Christ's finished work on the cross.

Barb said...

Steve -- it isn't REALLY the messenger instead of the message. It is the message that offends.

Yes, people say the Christian is arrogant for believing that he knows the answer to salvation--the way to Heaven --but he DOES know --or at least BELIEVES he knows --that is faith.

So, why did they crucify Christ? He calls Himself God. He said if you have seen me, you have seen the Father. He speaks as one having authority. They thought Him arrogant ---and a rival for their power.

Christian witnesses rightly say that they, too, have been sinners, that they need the Savior. And I don't know any Christian witnesses who don't say that. That approach is really not arrogant.

I know one personally who comes across as proud and disdainful in her witness; we aren't to be proud that we believe --but we can't help it if we are confident in what we believe and clear on what is good and evil --but it doesn't matter if the Christian seems proud and disdainful OR NOT --the message that "you must be born again" is an offense to the unbeliever who doesn't want the Gospel to be true because he wants to be his own moral guide and boss --he wants to believe his atheism is a more intellectual position.

Barb said...

And finally, Gentlemen, I am very concerned with how tolerance is defined today--I am concerned about the hatred toward --and the stifling of --Christians. Our free speech is at risk with people who define Bible Believers as narrow-minded, evil people --who don't even deserve to be heard.

and it's all about homosexuality. If you do not support gay rights as human rights -- gay as a good way to be --as inborn and inevitable like a race --then YOU are a bigot --and have no right to express a medical or biblical view of homosexual activity -- you are seen as spewing hatred like the Ku klux Klan or a Nazi.

While we let the Klan and the Nazis have their own parades --we could easily justify not letting them spew their hatred on a blog.

That's the view some have taken about Christian witness --and any speech opposing gay behavior and any other immoral lifestyle, such as prostitution.

You don't have to rail at these immoral activities to get censored --just give a rationale from a public health point of view --or a Biblical view --and you will be called a bigot and censored or intimidated and scorned and ridiculed on liberal blogs.

Christian Apologist said...

Barb you said,

"If all else fails, people at least need to know that Jesus Christ confirmed the existance of everlasting torment in Hell --and because He did, that's why I believe in it. I'd rather not."

Can you please provide biblical suppoort for this claim? Thanks.

Barb said...

Luke 16:19-31

The parable about Lazarus and the rich man which includes the following:


23In hell,[a] where he [the rich man] was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.'
25"But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.'


And then Matthew 25:

41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'

44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'

45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

Matthew 25:28 --at the end of the Parable about the talents:

28" 'Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. 29For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 30And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

This of course was a parable about a master and servants and the earthly consequence in the parable --but Jesus prefaced it as a discussion on the Kingdom of Heaven.

the Good News alternative (to the bad news which already has happened--man's mortality, man's damnation):

16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[a] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.[b]

John the Baptist said in Matthew 3:

10The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

11"I baptize you with[b] water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire."

Luke 3 is similar --and John says to go out and share--if you have two tunics, give one away(the democrats) --and don't take more taxes than you should! (HA! that's what the GOP says! actually sharing is everyone's challenge --and resenting taxes on oneself is universal) (There you have it, the roots of our political parties --the ying and yang of good gov't!)

Barb said...

Jesus talked about going to prepare a place for His disciples --which includes present day disciples --all who believe in the name of Jesus are given the right to be called 'children of God.' and the promise of Heaven with Christ.

I believe it's a REAL place --not just a spiritual place --but something that had to be created, just as He is given credit for creating EARTH.

John 1: 3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

steve said...

"42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'"

.... Unless I'm in the guise of a mexican immigrant, homosexual, or poor single mom...

Barb said...

Of course Jesus wants us to be compassionate and generous to poor single moms --not kill their babies --nor kill their husband's incentive to stay in the home as happened during the LBG Great Society years, when, if you admitted you had a man in the house, you were inelegible for benefits --thus encouraging the men not to marry and stay with the mothers of their kids--who found more babies out of wedlock to be financially rewarding.

Enforcing child support has helped a little --making men responsible for the kids, with jobs or not, they have a debt to the children. This may make some work harder to stay married for it is surely cheaper to support one house than two or more. (Probably leading to the stress that led that police officer to kill his wife, one of 3? women he had impregnated) Social policy affects behavior among the poor.

Just as all the unwed pregnancy rates skyrocketed
(800 per cent for whites and 400 per cent for blacks) after Roe vs. Wade and the pill relaxed societal teaching (the Planned Parenthood approach) against unwed pregnancty, pre-marital and teen sex.

thus,because shame was removed and you got more money for every baby, more single, immature teen mothers bore girls who became teen mothers themselves --and bore boys who landed in jail --for the lack of responsible fathers. Who needed them? --they had uncle sam and Grandma. Fathers were no longer seen as necessary in a society that was already matriarcal due to slavery.

It was Democrat administration that was thereafter seen as compassionate to the poor. And it was the Republican Contract with America engineered by Newt Gingerich in the early
90's --when Clintoon (freudian typo!) was president --that cut off the gravy train and saw a reversal in the immoral sex ed of PP used in schools --(which has been value neutral --"have sex when you are ready and not for peer pressure"--how lame-- spokesman for PP told educators he was "still exploring my sexuality" as he waved his hands around effeminately in a luncheon meeting at the Toledo Club for school bd. members.)

And PP said, "O we can't encourage waiting for marriage to teens in the schools --because their parents aren't married--we wouldn't want to offend."

To which I countered that the poor single women I knew wished they had a faithful, loving, supportive husband--who had been taught to marry the mother of his children--and wished THEY had been taught and protected from making babies with the first Tom, Dick, or Harry who came along.

I saw a TV show this year --in which the young black sophisticate said to the young white male,"You got kids?"

He said, "I'm not married."

She said, Well, who is? that doesn't mean you don't have kids!"

someone smart once wrote that our entertainment culture demonstrates and makes popular behavior that the poor can't afford --that no one can afford, really, when it comes to emotional, physical and economic well-being.

The rich can go buy rehab--and afford baby sitters --the poor have to hope the tax payer will provide it. The rich can afford bed-hopping and all its sorry results --or at least they do on TV -- and there are not sorry results on TV --there is hardly ANY love story on tv that doesn't have pre-marital sex presented postively with happy endings. And marriage doesn't need to be part of the story.

O--I just saw the neatest thing --red birds in a tree on a snowy day. That flash of color in a gray adn white world --God created color and eyes to see it! random, chance Evolution? I think not. You can't be thinking too deeply to believe in atheistic evolution as a random, spontaneous, natural method for the evolution of our amazing earth, its creatures, and our bodies! There is evidence of love and artistry and incredibly complexity in the design--even in our night light, the moon.

It's not me, Bush, or huckabee who says to round up the illegals and force them home. But we should shut our borders for security and make sure people come here to not just jump on the dole without working.

The Bible also says if a man doesn't work, he doesn't eat.

Raise a child, and you realize that the child needs some incentives to improve his own lot in life --

Our exchange student told us how it took forever to get through college in Austria, because, when the going got tough, you could drop out at no expense to yourself --and re-take the courses. At great cost to the taxpayers.

As for homosexuals, I've never been unkind to them. I just don't admire those who consciously and deliberately CHOOSE to flame it and emulate women -- and don't like the way we are encouraging our youth to explore their sexuality --girls kissing their girlfriends on tv, etc. Sally Bertinelli telling on oprah recently that she kissed a woman and liked it. And all the ladies giggled approvingly.

Christian Apologist said...

Barb I have replied to your post on hell in my own blog as the discussion is off topic from the original post.

Concerning the initial post Jesus was a man who claimed to be the messiah. If he had not risen from death after being killed all his claims would have been proven false and his disciples would have been a laughing stock to the world. Christianity would not have happened without the resurrection.

Barb said...

I agree with you about the probable demise of Christianity if Jesus had not risen.

Though I think a love and forgiveness religion would have a shot --but as I said in the original post, I doubted the disciples had what it would take to start a major world religion--except for the fact that Christ arose.

Happy Easter! Are you singing with us?

Last time I looked for your blog, it didn't exist, so it's new? I'll put you on my blogroll.

mud_rake said...

[As you have barged onto my blog, I feel justified to comment]

Christianity would not have happened without the resurrection.

Bingo.

How many other 'gods' have 'risen from the dead?

Funny stuff. Real funny stuff.

Barb said...

You are welcome on my blog --as you know.

Yes, Jesus is the only God to not only rise from the dead --but to raise at least 2 others along with his other miracles. One had been in the grave 4? days.

I don't know any other deities who rose from the dead, raised others, healed the lepers and the blind --at least not in a time when history was so reliable ---or with such credible, changed, intelligent and eloquent recorders of the events. It's only 20 centuries ago, after all!

To me it makes sense --that there is a God is evident from all that the eye can see, the ear can hear and the soul can experience --we are such amazing creatures --marvelously designed. Those flesh and blood computers in our craniums are incredibly high tech!

And why wouldn't the designer love us enough to make us immortal? I don't know why He would create us in the first place, but his love is so evident in our design and the design and constancy of the universe --that it's feasible that He would send us a Savior from death. Or if not so feasible, the record says it happened nevertheless.

Too many people are involved in recording the history leading up to Christ and the accounts of His life, death and resurrection --for me to doubt it. The greatest stories ever told are in that book.

mud_rake said...

The Greatest Story Ever Sold

Barb said...

And there are people who deny Hitler's Holocaust, too.

steve said...

this thread winzit!

Christian Apologist said...

Mudrake.

I tried to read some of that book you linked up here. I got about halfway through the inroduction but the gross misenterpretations of biblical passages give little hope for anything of value to be gained by reading further.

mud_rake said...

Christian Ap- I have lots of trouble getting through Leviticus and Deuteronomy, myself.